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Our view

The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future
DANIEL KAHNEMAN – Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Changing the Conversation
21st Club presents a collection of insights for football club boardrooms

Changing the Conversation

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  • 17 Jan 2019

    The hidden player

    Liverpool’s prospects of winning their first league title in 29 years have seemingly been hit in recent weeks by injuries in defensive positions. Fortunately for them, they have a couple of versatile players like Fabinho and James Milner who can capably cover for Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Their versatility helps negate the need for […]

  • 10 Jan 2019

    Messi peso, Ronaldo euro

    You’re probably thinking: not another debate about Ronaldo and Messi. Believe me, we’re as bored as you. But we do think there’s a lesson in their international goalscoring records that clubs can use in their player recruitment.

    Ronaldo has 20 more goals than Messi for his country – 25 if you exclude penalties – and even […]

  • 04 Jan 2019

    Predictions for 2019

    What we love doing more than anything else us helping people prepare for risk and uncertainty, and so with that in mind we’ve made some predictions for the year ahead.

    The closest title race in Europe is the Bundesliga’s

    After a few years of slightly underwhelming title races in Europe’s biggest leagues, two underdog challengers have emerged […]

  • 31 Dec 2018

    Reflections on 2018

    In most walks of life it is customary during this brief lull in festivities to reflect on our experiences during the past year – the achievements, the milestones, the memories. Football’s hectic fixture schedule makes it trickier to indulge in such cathartic reflection, but nevertheless I managed to carve out some time this week to reflect on our own achievements here at 21st Club and […]

  • 20 Dec 2018

    Younger, better, cheaper

    The best possible signing is when there was no one younger, better, and cheaper available. But do we know when this is the case?

    A global database of players can help. In an instant, it’s clearly easier to know who is younger than our current preferred option. Our player valuation and salary expectation models can […]

  • 12 Dec 2018

    Performance 101

    Smart clubs know that results do not always reflect performance, and that in turn teams that are performing well will over time get better results than those that are performing badly – regardless of recent results.

    The question is how we measure performance. Managers often speak about ‘creating the better chances’ in post-match interviews following […]

  • 05 Dec 2018

    An open door policy

    There is a moment in the closing stages of Matt Santos’ Presidential campaign in the seventh series of the West Wing where Santos’ campaign manager, Josh Lyman, and the Vice-Presidential candidate, Leo McGarry, are discussing where to allocate their remaining ad. budget.

    “It feels like we’re closing a lot of doors”, Santos observes as the discussion […]

  • 29 Nov 2018

    A bit of certainty in an uncertain world

    It feels like whichever way we turn right now we’re surrounded by uncertainty.

    In the UK it’s impossible to escape Brexit, with Theresa May this week warning MPs that they have to decide whether to back her Brexit deal or open the door to more uncertainty. While overseas, the ongoing trade war between U.S.-China continues […]

  • 22 Nov 2018

    If you were to invent football tomorrow

    The dramatic conclusion to three of the four UEFA Nations League A groups confirmed the success of the competition’s first edition. By our count, around 40 per cent of men’s international matches this decade were friendlies; it’s likely that competitions like the Nations League mean we will soon consider friendly matches anachronistic, if not already. […]